According to SunSport, Spurs are interested in bringing Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley to the club, but they understand that Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy do not want to pay the £50m asking price that Everton have come up with.
For that exact reason, I believe that Spurs should abandon their attempts to sign Ross Barkley for whatever price and they should turn their attention to bringing Gylfi Sigurdsson back to North London after he moved away from White Hart Lane three years ago for £8.6m.
It will cost a lot of money to bring Sigurdsson back to the club, but there would be no settling in period for the Icelandic international having already spent two fairly successful seasons at the club. It is thought that Swansea are likely to ask for around about £30m for the attacking midfielder.
Yes, this is a lot of money to pay for a player that was sold just a few years ago for around £8m, but it would be a much better decision to bring Sigurdsson back to the club than potentially pay up to £20m more for a player that simply does not possess the attitude or quality to succeed at a club like Spurs.
Having watched Ross Barkley on more than a few occasions last season, I have to say that I was less than impressed. The Englishman appeared 36 times in the Premier League for Everton, scoring five times and providing nine assists. Is that the form of a player worth £50m? Prices have inflated recently, but seriously? £50m for a 5-goal attacking midfielder. I can see why Mauricio Pochettino has been put off by the huge price tag. You would certainly expect more from Barkley who has a lot of talent around him in that Everton team, a team that managed a 7th placed finish last season.
The Englishman lacks the decision-making ability that played at a high level consistently demands, his final ball is often the wrong ball, and that is when he does decide to offload the ball, Barkley often decides to go it along when the pass is clearly the better option.
His attitude also leaves a lot to be desired for. His work-rate is often below-par, especially defensively, and Ronald Koeman has previously warned his man that his attitude must improve if he is to succeed at the top level. This poor attitude and poor work rate does not bode well for a move to Tottenham, where Mauricio Pochettino demands a hard-working team and a high work-rate, not just on the pitch on matchday, but in training too.
The signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson for around about £30m would prove to be a much better decision and a much better signing. Sigurdsson enjoyed a successful season in South Wales, and played a pivotal role in steering Paul Clement’s Swansea clear from the drop last term.
The Icelandic international scored nearly double the amount of goals in the Premier League than Barkley did last season. Sigurdsson weighed in with nine goals and thirteen assists in 38 league appearances, four more goals and four more assists than the £50m-rated Everton man.
Then there comes the topic of work-rate. I found that in his time at Spurs and at Swansea, Sigurdsson’s attitude and work-rate has been first class, and I cannot see that changing any time soon. The decision to sell Sigurdsson three years ago still puzzles me to this day, and Mauricio Pochettino praising the former Spurs man last season in a press conference confuses the matter even more as Sigurdsson was sold when Pochettino was the head coach at Tottenham.
Furthermore, Spurs fans seem to be keen on the idea of bringing Sigurdsson back to the club, as they were sent into a Twitter frenzy yesterday after a certain tweet from the official Spurs Twitter account regarding Sigurdsson.
Signing Ross Barkley would be a huge mistake this summer, and it is my belief that Barkley would have a similar debut season at Spurs to Moussa Sissoko if he were to sign. Gylfi Sigurdsson is a cheaper alternative and would prove to be much more of a success at Spurs than Barkley.